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1981

Night

Jodie is setting up a display in the children's department when Jeff runs in asking for help. He has noticed that when he in his storybooks, the outside is bright and there are people everywhere, but when he looks outside the store windows, it's dark and there are few people. Jodie explains that he has only looked outside during the nighttime. He wonders what nighttime is, and so Jodie tells him that when the sun goes down, it is dark, and most people leave downtown and go home. She and Sam don't go home at night because they work at night. Sam comes in and says that there are some animal tracks on the top floor and he's trying to find out what made them, he figures it's probably a raccoon. He asks them to tell Muffy he has a snack for her, if they see her before he does.

Jeff is so happy to understand about night, he could just clap his hands! Jodie says we can join him if we like nighttime, too, and they sing "Clap ands (clap, clap) for the nighttime, clap hands (clap, clap), for the night, clap hands (clap, clap) for the nighttime, clap hands (clap, clap) night's all right.

In her mousehole, Muffy is awakened by all the clapping. She is often awakened by noises that she doesn't recognize and it makes it hard to sleep. She asks if we could help her by identifying any noises that wake her up. The first noise we hear is a dog, and the next is a cat. "It makes a mouse feel kind of shaky," Muffy says, "when a cat says 'Wakey, Wakey!'" Next we hear water dripping, and when Muffy gets up to turn if off, she spies some cheese and fruit on the counter and decides to have a snack before going to bed.

Sam is on the roof investigating the animal tracks. He has a drawing that shows the tracks that he found inside. The drawing shows that the tracks are made by a raccoon. He must have lifted the trap door and gone right into the store. He decides to call a friend who works with a veterinarian to find out the best way to catch him.

Meanwhile, Jodie is hanging a mobile with moon and stars in a pretend window for her night display. She recites the rhyme, "Star light, star bright", and Jeff wonders what she is doing. She ex-plains that it's a rhyme that people say to the first star they see at night. She asks us to help her teach it to Jeff. Afterwards, she explains, you get to make a wish. Jeff wonders what he'd wish for, but Sam comes along and says HE would wish it was his day off so he could play at night instead of working.

Jeff is surprised that people don't only go home and work at night but that they also play. To show him, Sam and Jodie tell Jeff about a time when Jodie was roller skating on a Saturday night and Sam surprised her when she stopped into a coffee shop for a snack. He was working for a friend and he tells Jodie about the food he serves, and the nice people he is meeting. Jodie says, "Have you noticed if you give people a nice smile, generally you'll get one back?"

Jodie decides she'll have a cup of milk and a muffin. Sam says there's no charge but he does want a favor. "Anything!" Jodie says. "Help me with the dishes?" Jodie is sorry she promised, but she reluctantly agrees to help with the dishes.

Jeff is impressed and says playing at night looks like fun, but Jodie assures him that working at night is fun, too. Jodie notices the cage Sam has on the push cart and wonders what it's for. Sam explains that he will use it to catch the raccoon. He explains to Jeff that raccoons aren't like pets, they have sharp claws that can hurt. Using the cage, the raccoon won't be hurt and neither will Sam.

Jeff wonders how a raccoon can see in the dark, and Jodie says that all nighttime animals can see in the dark. Jeff is surprised that there are other nighttime animals besides the raccoon. Jodie uses some stuffed toys from the toy chest in her display to show him a few, a skunk, an owl, and a fox. Muffy pops out of the chest to say, "In case you think your list is done, you missed the most important one!" Yes, Jodie adds, mice are nighttime animals, too.

Muffy yawns sleepily, and Jeff wonders why she's sleepy at night since she's a nighttime animal. She explains that with all the noise in the day time it's hard for her to sleep then. She can't sleep now, either, so Jodie suggests a lullaby. She and Jeff sing softly, "Sleep, sleep, my little one."

The lullaby has worked quite well on Sam, who walks by with his head on the push cart, snoring away. Jodie shakes her head in amusement.

Later, Jodie is dressing two mannequins in pajamas for her display. She tells Jeff that if they ever have a display like this in the front window then he'll get to wear pajamas. She goes off to the stock room leaving Jeff feeling sorry for himself because he never gets to go anywhere and has to stay in the store. So he decides to try the "star light, star bright" rhyme and make a wish on the stars in Jodie's display.

Next we see him climbing up onto the roof for the first time, exploring and dancing to a jazzy "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star."


In the computer room, Sam checks the trap on TXL to see if they have caught the raccoon yet. They haven't, so Sam decides to show us a story. He is saving a donut for Muffy but she doesn't answer his call, so he begins to punch the buttons on TXL for a story. Still, he can't help thinking about that donut. Maybe it's getting stale. He'd better eat it right away, but now the bag is moving and Muffy is inside, having eaten the donut herself! Sam offers to show her the story as a bedtime story since she's having trouble sleeping.

The story is "Playmates for Roger", about a little raccoon wandering around at night looking for playmates. The pigeons, the squirrels, and the dogs are all asleep, but just when he gives up on finding a playmate, he finds three other raccoons, Bora, Cora, and Dora, all ready to play with him.

Sam has fallen asleep but Muffy is wide awake. Then loud noise sounds and wakes Sam up -- it's the trap, they've caught the raccoon!

In the children's department, Sam has brought the cage with the raccoon in it for the gang to see. Muffy thinks he's wearing a mask, but Jodie explains that it is just the way raccoon's eyes look. They count the lines on his tail and talk about its living habits and how it uses its paws. Jodie tells about a raccoon that lived by her house that would open the garbage can and eat the food in the garbage.

Jodie thinks Muffy recognizes the raccoon. "It does look a bit like Uncle Fred!" Muffy says. Sam's veterinarian friend has told him to take the raccoon out to his natural home, so after work Sam will take it out into the countryside and let it go.

After Jeff and Sam move the raccoon downstairs, Jodie says it gave her an idea for her display. Now she sits a stuffed raccoon next to her bedroom display.

Sam says he noticed it was getting light outside. "You mean night is over?" Jeff asks. "That's what happens when the sun comes up," Jodie informs him. "But don't worry . . ."

Jeff interrupts. "I know. when the day is over the sun goes down and it's night again!" Now Jeff and Sam and Jodie sing "Clap Hands for the Nighttime!" once again.

Sam asks where Muffy is and Jodie is worried that their clapping may have disturbed her. But Jeff notices that she has curled up in Jodie's display and is finally fast asleep.


Quizzes:

  • Which word rhymes with "night"?
  • What am I? (have four paws, a bushy striped tail. . .)

Nursery Rhyme:

  • Hey diddle, diddle

Notes:

  • None
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